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Breaking Catholic News Reaches Parish Bulletin


St. John Vianney
Northlake, IL
Archdiocese of Chicago
United States

More Info

For more information, email Jim Fair.

Category: Faith Formation

Zenit News articles bring solid, worldwide Catholic news to the parish level, adding something new and fresh to the bulletin, without incurring additonal cost.

‚ÄúThe news digest is really helpful in giving parishioners a taste of what is happening in the broader church,‚Ä? said Fr. Martin Azhikkakath.

The need it meets

Our Sunday bulletin had only parish news, but with the addition of this service, parishioners were presented solid Catholic news from Rome and around the world, plus:

  • Parishioners became aware of as the source of the complete news articles and other news items that would be of general interest to Catholics.
  • Our parish has a heavy population of Mexican immigrants, so articles of particular interest to them are also chosen.
  • These important Catholic news items most likely would not appear in the secular press.

Where it came from

Two years ago Fr. Thomas Refermat, pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Northlake, Illinois, had a need for bulletin ideas and the suggestion for using clips from ZENIT News Service was embraced whole-heartedly.

How it works

An "editor" receives the daily ZENIT email of news stories and becomes familiar with what is going on worldwide over the course of the week. At week's end, usually Sunday, the ZENIT articles for the past week are reviewed and the "editor" does the following:

  • Pulls out items that he or she thinks would be good for the bulletin news summary.
  • Edits the pieces for brevity and clarity.
  • Picks the ones that will be most informative.
  • Inserts ZENIT credit line

The process typically takes about an hour. Once the summary is assembled in a simple Word document, it is emailed to the parish secretary for insertion into the parish bulletin.

The results

Feedback on the news items has been positive. Parishioners have mentioned they enjoy reading it and:

  • Parishioners are informed with solid, Catholic news and teachings.
  • Parishioners appreciate a broader perspective, which helps them understand that the Church is universal.
  • It fosters unity with the wider, catholic Church, helping parishioners feel connected to something strong. Many come to realize at Mass that hundreds of millions of other people are celebrating Mass with the same liturgy.

Key elements

Utilizing a reliable Catholic news source is key:

*All news items are taken from Zenit News Agency, widely recognized as among the most reliable sources of news concerning the Roman Catholic Church. It supplies news items in several languages to individuals as well as major news outlets around the world. *ZENIT grants parishes permission to use their articles at no charge. *A ZENIT credit line is included at the end of the digest.

How to implement it

  • Find an "editor" from the parish: perhaps someone looking to serve the parish by helping their fellow parishioners deepen their knowledge of their faith and developments in the Church.
  • Regular intercommunication between "editor" and parish secretary.
  • Pre-edited clips can also be obtained from regularly via email from Jim Fair,

Fr. Thomas Refermat is pastor of St. John Vianney.

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